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August 14, 2017

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Water Spots!!

August 14, 2017


Water spots on paint and glass 

Park too close to the sprinklers or didn’t get to dry off your car in time after washing it?  Depending on your water supply, you will likely have water spots on you paint and glass now. They are the same ones you might have on your glass shower door and can be VERY difficult to remove. What are water spots exactly?

Basically they are simply minerals and airborne pollutants from rain that are left behind after the water dries.

There are three types of water spots based on what’s carried in the water and is left behind on the paint and what the paint surface is the water is allowed to dry on.

These are known as Type I, II and III water spots.


Type I Water Spots
Type I Water Spots are primarily a mineral or dirt deposit laying on the surface of paint. Type I Water Spots can be the results of minerals suspended in city water or well water that are left behind after the water evaporates off the finish. This can happen by washing a car but not drying the water off the paint or if a sprinkler goes off next to the car covering the car with water drop that are not dried off the paint. Type I Water Spots can also be dirt or pollution particles left behind after water from rain or inclement weather evaporates of the finish. Type I Water Spots can also be Type II Water Spots in that the water can leave both a deposit on the surface and an etching in the finish.

Type II Water Spots
Type II Water Spots are actual etchings or craters in the paint because something corrosive in a water source has landed on the paint and was not removed before a portion of the paint was eaten or dissolved by the corrosive substance. 

Type III Water Spots
Type III Water Spots are spots that look faded or dull and are found primarily found on single stage paints after a water source lands on and then pools on the paint and is usually left to dwell on the surface for some measure of time before it evaporates or is wiped-off the surface.


The good news is that most of these can be removed. How easily depends on the type of water that was left to dry, what’s in the water, how long it’s been there and how often this happens. The photo below was a couple of month’s worth of morning sprinklers with hard (mineral rich) city water. Took a few hours of pretty aggressive compounding to get then off. In the end I was able to get 95% or better of them off. 



For spots that are fresh, as in same day occurrence, they usually can be wiped off using a spray detailer (available at auto parts stores, Wal-Mart, Target, etc.…) and a CLEAN microfiber towel.  For spots that have been there for a week of two, use white vinegar to dissolve the minerals and then wipe with the fore mentioned spray detailer, and re-wax the area if car has wax on it …and it should. A good coat of wax, paint sealant or better yet, a ceramic paint coating is the best defense against water spots. Contact me and we can go over what’s best for your car. 




For spots that have been left to sit for long periods or have a frequent recurrence such as a sprinkler system and look like the first photo, a pretty aggressive approach with a gelled acid cleaner and heavy compounding may be the only way for remove these spots. But if can be done with a pretty good outcome. I have seen some so bad that they would not come fully, but there was a HUGE difference.



Glass is also susceptible to water spots with a few minor differences, but it really treated the same way as far as removal and how they form. The biggest difference is that glass will not get the etching like paint will and it holds a tighter bond making them much more difficult to remove fully.


The best prevention is to keep your car out of the path of sprinklers and dry off standing water as soon as possible when washing your car. For more information on safe washing methods click here: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/132ba8_4b63244849ef4f5fb44be133777e0e92.pdf


If you have any questions, please let me know!! (360) 239-1359, call or text or email at mailto:FirehouseDetail@Comcast.net



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